is not sleeping for shelter dogs harmful to their health?

sleeping dogs for shelters
sleeping for shelter dogs


is not sleeping for shelter dogs harmful to their health?

The lack of sleep of refuge dogs is detrimental to their health a study led by two researchers from the universities of Lincoln and Liverpool in the united kingdom found that dogs that cannot sleep all their drunk during the day are more stressed and have behavioral problems. 

their study, carried out in 2014 on refuge dogs but published in early October 2016 in the journal PLoS One, showed that they slept on average nearly 15% less than other dogs during the day.  
the researchers noted that they actually slept 2.8% of their time during the day, prevented from doing so for longer because of environmental disturbances.

the main author, Sara Owczarzak-Garstka, anthropologist, and ethnologist explains that cage cleaning, feeding, walks, visits by prospective adopters and veterinarians disrupt their rest over a longer period.

In this way, domestic dogs, living in a quieter environment, especially because they are alone for part of the day, can extend their sleep time. "Most domestic dogs live in a much quieter environment and previous research shows that they also sleep longer during the day," she says.

For her, this lack of sleep during the day in refuge dogs generates more important signs of stress (sticking out your tongue, showing repetitive and nervous movements) while dogs in the house are generally calmer, and therefore more receptive to the instructions of their owners (more obedient). they also show more signs of good health in general. "our data show that a longer rest period during the day is a very clear health indicator for refuge dogs, more so than night sleep time," she concludes.


For Thierry boss, veterinarian, and owner of the aide aux Vieux animal shelter, the lack of sleep during the day for dogs in shelters are only one of the consequences of the paradox of these facilities. "Life in a classic shelter offers dogs an environment extremely low in stimuli in everyday life," says the expert, "they are in cramped boxes without enrichment. They are both constrained in space and in their activity, which puts them in a state of great frustration. And conversely, they are over-stimulated when animated elements approach their boxes, whether it is the familiar humans who are the healers or the unfamiliar humans who are the visitors who are potential adopters."


For the professional, these visits are even a major source of stress. "You can see that dogs bark a lot when people arrive near the boxes," continues Thierry Bedossa, "they get angry, come and go and all this excitement is very communicative.
The veterinarian also considers that the unpredictability of these excitement rides related to the visits can have consequences not only on the quality of sleep of the dogs but also on the quality of life, and therefore the health, of these animals in general.

"What is paradoxical," he says, "is that modern zoos have put everything in place to enrich the environment of the wild animals they support. Both in the setting, the activities offered and the way the food is distributed so that in the end these animals are less affected by the comings and goings of visitors in front of their pens. They even end up ignoring them. They can even sleep while they are being observed. You don't observe in a zoo what you see in a refuge!" for him, all shelters should leave the cities (by definition too small) to migrate to the countryside and, like AVA, the shelter he runs in Cuy-Saint-Fiacre (76), offer their protégés vast enclosures, a group life and an enrichment of the environment close to that practiced in the zoos that have made their ethological revolution.

Failing this, he believes that shelters that do not allow potential adopters direct access to dog boxes but that organize an encounter with one dog at a time in a quieter place, minimize the disadvantages of this over-stimulated life...


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